Saturday, April 15, 2017

North Korea Parades New Long-Range 'Frankenmissile' (VIDEO)

I've gotta say, those NoKo military parades are pretty impressive.

I know. I know. NoKo's actually a weak country, and frankly not an existential threat to the U.S. That said, you don't have too many militant ideological Cold War throwbacks around these days, so the gamesmanship is something to behold. Plus, it's Trump in office, and he means business when he says NoKo nukes ain't gonna happen.

At WSJ, via Memeorandum, "Pyongyang displays military hardware, including apparently new intercontinental ballistic missile":

North Korea showed off what appeared to be at least one new long-range missile at a military parade Saturday, as tensions simmer over the possibility of a military confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea.

The weaponry on show, which appeared to include a newly-modified intercontinental ballistic missile and two types of large launchers with never-before-seen missile canisters, is likely to trigger fresh concerns about the speed with which Pyongyang’s missile program has advanced in recent years.

A spokesman for South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense declined to comment on the possible new military hardware, saying more time was needed to analyze the missiles.

But an expert on North Korean weapons said the new hardware appeared to be far more advanced than expected.

“We’re totally floored right now,” said Dave Schmerler, a research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif. “I was not expecting to see this many new missile designs.”

Mr. Schmerler called the new ICBM, which appeared to have elements of two other ICBMS, the KN-08 and KN-14 missiles, a “frankenmissile.”

Missile experts said the new capabilities, if confirmed, may increase Pyongyang’s options as it seeks to test-launch a ICBM able to deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental U.S., as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un indicated in a speech in January. U.S. President Donald Trump responded after that new-year speech, posting on Twitter: “It won’t happen!”

Also, at the Diplomat, "North Korea's 2017 Military Parade Was a Big Deal. Here Are the Major Takeaways."